The crisis around teaching and learning of mathematics and its use in everyday life and work relate to a number of issues. These include: The doubtful transferability of school maths to real life contexts, the declining participation in A level and higher education maths courses, the apparent exclusion of some groups, such as women and the aversion of many people to maths. This book addresses these issues by considering a number of key problems in maths education and numeracy:
*differences among social groups, especially those related to gender and social class
*the inseparability of cognition and emotion in mathematical activity
*the understanding of maths anxiety in traditional psychological, psychoanalytical and feminist theories
*how adults' numerate thinking and performance must be understood in context.
The author's findings have practical applications in education and training, such as clarifying problems of the transfer of learning, and of countering maths anxiety.
'Jeff Evans' book is a welcome contribution to the developing literature on adults learning mathematics and a worthy addition to Paul Ernest's excellent Studies in Mathematics Education series.' - Diana Cohen, Studies in the Education of Adults
'Evans' intellectual journey is stimulating, challenging and ongiong, for him and other researchers and practitioners.' - Diana Cohen, University of Nottingham
' I welcome this book written for anybody interested in adults' relationship to mathematics … valuable reflections for changing practice including making contexts for learning more student friendly, and extending the scope of numeracy to be empowering in learners' lives … With his interdisciplinary study, Jeff Evans has given us multiple perspectives on the very complex issue concerning mathematics thinking and emotions.' - Tine Wedege, ALM Newsletter May 2001
'I felt as if I was visting old friends as the contributions of various significant mathematics educators to the field were respectfully considered and incorporated into the work … Jeff Evans provides a tour of the literature pertaining to mathematics acquistion and transfer over the last 20 years … I should think that teachers of mathematics to adults will welcome the section in the concluding chapter, "Adult-friendly contexts for learning", in which suggestions for effective learning are made. Those concerned to underpin experience with some theory before embarking on their own research will find it a publication which marks out the territory admirably.' - Pat Drake, British Educational Research Journal
'This book can be recommended for a range of audiences beyond those in adult mathematics education. It displays a throroughness of approach in the detailed, justified use and interplay of both quantitative and qualitative research tools and methodologies. This makes it a valuable addition to the libraries of research students and their lecturers/supervisors … This careful study of adults' numerate practices, building on and extending research from respected authors, highlights as never before the integral role played by the emotions in the mathematical thinking of people of all ages. It provides a salient reminder of the importance of our interactions as mathematics educators for all with whom we come into contact, formally or otherwise.' - Gail E. FitzSimons, Mathematics Education Research Journal